Dr. Kimberly Chang of Asian Health Services and co-authors, Kate Walker Brown and Elizabeth Sy, discuss possible solutions to address the prevalent and ongoing issue of sexual exploitation of minors in Oakland.
When the story of a teenager’s exploitation at the hands of Bay Area police came to light earlier this year, we were sad and angry, but we were not surprised. We are an attorney, a counselor and nurse, and a physician, who have collectively worked for more than two decades with young people who are trafficked and exploited through the sex trade. Many of our clients and patients have told us about their disturbing encounters with law enforcement. They have affirmed that some police officers purchase sex, others offer to let individuals go in exchange for a sexual favors, and that still others have used the threat of arrest to keep our clients and patients from speaking out about the harms children and adults experience at the hands of law enforcement.
So when we learned that several Bay Area police officers coerced the young woman known as Celeste Guap, through their positions of power, into having sex with them in exchange for protection from undercover police operations and raids, we were not shocked.